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Decaisnea.']                          FLORA INDICA.                                     213
botanical investigation. The floral characters, and even the fruit of Decaisnea, es-
tablish in the Clearest manner its close affinity to Stauntonia and Lardizabala, while
thxe more normal arrangement of its ovules and seeds constitutes a remarkable transi-
tion from their abnormal insertion in these genera to the ordinary .mode of placenta-
tioii.
The ripe fruit is entirely filled with a cellular pulp, which is developed from the
growing walls of the whole surface of the pericarp, and forms a complete homoge-
neous mass, leaving no cavity anywnere. This is firmly attached to the seeds all
round, but we cannot ftud that t}\e adhesion is organic, except at the hilum, where
there is a broad organic attachment between the testa and pulp. Vessels originating
from all parts of the surface of the pericarp ramify through the pulp, but do not
meet in the axis -of the fruit. This structure is very different from that of Hott-
ZtSllia, in which the ovales are imbedded in cavities of the walls of the ovary, and the
seeds are consequently included in separate loculi of the walls of the pericarp, and in
which the pulpy septa do not meet in the axis, nor contract any adhesion with the
surface of the testa. Torrey describes the arillus of Podophyllum, a genus allied
to Lardizetbalea in several important characters, as a pulpy expansion of the very
broad placenta, filling the cavity of the fruit, and enveloping the seeds, but not
contracting any further adhesion with the wails of the pericarp; this is a third mo-
dification of the development of pulp which is only partially comparable with the
two described.
The genus Dccaimea is eveu more interesting ou account of its peculiar habit
than its placentation. It is erect and nearly simple, resembling at first sight one
of the shrubby Araliacea which are so characteristic of the humid forests of the
eastern Himalaya. The soft stem, with large pith, and the very large pinnated
leaves, which disarticulate between each pair of leaflets, increase this resemblance,
which is another curious instance of the analogy in general aspect between Araliacea
and IfmbeUiferis, on the one hancl, and the group of Apocarpous Thal&miflora on
the other, long ago indicated by Lindley.
1, D. insignis (H.f. et T. in Proe. Linn. Soc. ii. Dec. 1854).—
Slackia insignis, Griffith Itin. Notes, 187, No. 977 (non efusctem, in
Palm. Bot.Jnd. 161).
•HAS. In Himalaya oriental! interiori temperata, alt. 6-10,000 ped.;
Sikkim ! Bhotan, Griffith!—($L Mai.; fr. Get,) (v. v.)
Frutex erectus, robustus, subsimplex, medulla crassissima, apicem versus carno-
sulus, herbaceuSj folioaus, glaber. JFbfia alterna, patentia, imparipinnata, 2-3-pe-
dalia, petiolo cylindrico subangulato striato, supcrne non suleato, hasi articulato.
Foliota opposita, 6-8-juga, ovata vel ovatp-lanceolata, plerumque longe acuminata,
8-5 poll', longa, 1&-3 lata, lasi acuta, petiolulo i-i-poll., sabmembranacea, subtus
glauca, sccus costani nervosque sparse pubentla, demum glahrata. Eacemi plures,
terminalcs vel latcralcs, clongati, fere pedales, multifiori, -erecto-patentes. Bractea
minutaj, subulate, cito dcciduaj. Pedtinculi graciles, pollicai^s, flores longitudine
ajquantes. Sqpala lineari-ltmceolata, longissima, angustain, tcnuiter inembranacea
(in vivo subcartfosa), multinervosa, tenuiter puberula. Folllculi 3 poll, longi, diam.
|-poll., cylindrici, divaricati, recurvi, utrinque obtuai, irregulariter rugosi, sutura ven-
trali dehis^entes, crasse coriacei, pulpa splida dulci rcpleti. Semina circa 40, plocen-
tis binis paullo iutra folliculi margincs sitis a sutuVa,{ vel •£ poll, distantibus inserta,
obovato-ovalia, compressa, pulpo nidulantia. Testa fragilis, basi suboblique hili
cicatrice liueari-oblonga iiotata, intus^rhaphe marginali pericarpio a versa percursa;
cJialaza, apicalis; endospeymium tenue; albumen flavum, carnosum, oleosum; embryo
albus; radical* hUo vci-sa.
The fruit of this species, which is eaten by the Lepchas of Sikkim, is very pala-
table, and might probably be improved by cultivation.